What Growing Your Own Food Feels Like

When you arrive in a new place it can be scary and you can feel out of place. But sometimes, you feel totally open for anything and everything to happen.

I came off of a disappointing, injury-ridden outdoor track season at Iowa State and headed straight to Portland, Oregon to live and work on a farm.

Skyberry Farms is a small-scale, organic vegetable farm that was my home for the summer.

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I lived with almost a dozen other people who lived on the farm and worked part-time, full-time or no-time - some just lived there to live there. There was a dog, Vera, and heaps of chickens and ducks. 

The humans I lived with were incredibly creative, innovative, and inspirational. They taught me how to live in the present and do whatever makes my soul dance.

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My days consisted of waking up at 4:30AM (because my body clock NEVER adjusted) to run in Forest Park before the work day began. Duck eggs transformed from a luxury to a staple for breakfast, as well as multiple french presses of coffee were shared every morning.

I then laced up my boots and headed out into the field with everyone else. We took care of the farm in any way it needed. We were interpreting what the Earth was telling us. Did the beans need help growing? Then we'd build a fence to help lace them through the openings to grow big and tall. Were there some smaller, discolored leaves on some of the kale? Then we'd prune them off to help the bigger leaves grow even bigger, even stronger, and with more nutrients.

I watered the terrace every morning so that the water wouldn't evaporate from the day's heat and the plants could enjoy it all. I gently moved the hose along the roots, wasting no water. I learned how to be intentional with all of my actions. 

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The best part of it all was eating all of it - duh. We would stop for lunch in the middle of the day and feast. We all contributed. Being surrounded by the freshest chard, cabbage, tomatoes, and cilantro allowed us to be creative through incorporating our daily harvest into unusual meals. It is extremely rewarding to go outside and find the best ingredients for every taco party imaginable. 

Taking care of the farm, was taking care of the earth, and therefore taking care of me. This is where my journey for self-care and self-love begins. I learned what it feels like to take care of the Earth, and appreciate all it is doing for us. The more gratitude we send out into the universe, the more energy, messages, and experiences the universe will send back to you. When you actively take part in the universe, there is no lack of things to be grateful for.

Follow my fellow farmers from that summer Eva, Sid, Rob, Rainey, Ash, Spencer, and Pat on Instagram to see what they are up to now.

 

 

All photos in this post are by Eva Verbeeck. I didn't have my camera with me that summer because I am a fool. However, I was lucky enough to share my Skyberry experience with her while she captured perfect moments like these.